Thursday, January 31, 2013

Have You Giggled Yet Today?

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."

     ~Groucho Marx

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wintry Play

More of a snowlady than a snowman...
Yesterday I shoveled slush, salted walkways, walked in the snow, made a snowman -- the first I've made in years, as I recall; the last being one I created ages ago for James on Valentine's Day.... 

When I initially went outside, making a snowman wasn't my intention; I was really only planning to create a path across the yard for the mailman so he wouldn't have to go back out to the icy street between houses in order to deliver my mail.

Shoveling the path is what I usually do (and sounds easier than it is), but since yesterday's snow was wet and sticky I couldn't help myself. The stuff was perfect! It was a sin to waste a snowman-making opportunity. And as I rolled the heavy snow along the pathway I recalled wintry days from my childhood, little Me desperately working with my wet woolen mittens to pack snow into a ball when it wouldn't stick together.

What began as play soured quickly. Moments earlier my across-the-street neighbor (a contractor) jogged past with his clipboard on the way to another neighbor's remodel project, and he'd already given me good-natured (I hope) grief:
"Playing? Really?? Some of us gotta WORK!"
I know he was teasing, but my ears heard the words like parental scolding and it bothered me that I just couldn't ignore them....

After he'd gone, the street became quiet once more and I quickly finished my task. It was just me in the snow again, my world all cotton wool-ish and insulated. It made me think of the recent snowfall just days before. James and I were outside clearing the driveway (thinking that we could expect much more snowfall and wanting to get ahead of the game), and the entire neighborhood was doing the same thing, burning through the pathetic amount of accumulation with their screaming snow blowers...

(Let me just say that I dislike snowblowers. I wish they hadn't been invented.Yes, I get that they're a godsend and all that. And it's not like I haven't been envious on those days when Mother Nature sees fit to bury me in an avalanche too big for me to dig myself out of....)

...and I couldn't help but notice my neighbor down the way, blowing out his driveway while his teenaged sons stood around talking to their friends. How different would it have been if they'd all shoveled together? Would they have conversed or joked like James and I do? Would they have noticed the birdsong or the sound of snowflakes falling or the rhythm of their shovels? There was an opportunity for something and it wasn't being taken! (It's like doing the dishes together; how many opportunities for conversation/problem-solving/bonding have been lost by the invention of the dishwasher?)

Love the winky face! :)
Anyway, I finished up my snowman quickly, not bothering to round out his edges or brush off the accumulation of grassblades and rabbit droppings. I picked dried hydrangea blossoms and poked them into his head for hair. A row of dotted Echinacea pods became his mouth; two more, his eyes. Milkweed stalks were his widespread arms. A row of withered daisy blossoms were his buttons. When he was finished, he looked more like an old snowlady in curlers than a snowman.

As the day melted on, he listed drunkenly to one side, still with the loopy smile. And when James saw him later that night, he suggested we scatter a couple cider bottles in the snow at his feet for the fun of it.

But today I went back out and straightened him up. I replaced a button and coiffed his hydrangea 'do. And now I'm considering making him a sign to hold:
"Make Time For Play. It's as Important as Work."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Icy feathers decorate Tumbledown's old windows today, and white crusts of frost line the edges of its weathered doors. The thermometer says, "Stay home!" and I'm listening with both ears. Because it's so cold here in my Minnesota village that I'm half an inch away from wrapping the kitten around my neck like a stole. :)

But regardless of the temps, there's still a lot that's dipping my day in molten gold:

1. A dash of cinnamon in my morning coffee, and cold hands (in fingerless gloves) wrapped around the steaming mug of it.
2. Breakfast slices of holiday fruitcake served warmmmm....
3. Magick pencils and the warm-up sketches they create that never fail to surprise and delight me.
4. Some Wii hula-hooping and a little Zumba to get the blood moving.
5. And you, you, YOU, of course. You, reading my words right now, wherever you are. You with your warm heart and warm thoughts. Thank you. :)

How about you? Is it cold where you are? Then get ready, because I'm sending you a thick, wooly hug:



Now go be creative, my friend. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's That Kind of Day

Every quilt needs a rosebud patch....
It's a curl-up-with-a-cat kinda day. A don't-answer-the-door kinda day. A turn-off-the-lights-and-pretend-I'm-not-home kinda day....

It's the kind of day that wants a cup of tea and a picture book. The kind that wants my shoes off and my feet wrapped in Grandma Slippers, the handknit ones with pom-poms.

I want flannel jammies and a robe that isn't scratchy. I want old-school Sesame Street episodes on the TV. I want Bob McGrath singing 'Windy Day.' I want Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood immediately afterward, and I want to imagine living in the land of Make Believe, where it's always overcast, and kittens wear dresses and live in treehouses and speak in meows and I understand what they're saying.

And my day should be chicken-noodle-soup-scented. There should be Colorforms on my bedside table. A quilt on my lap made of swatches of fabrics I wore in school, squares that I can trace with my fingers as they march up the patchwork hills like little hand soldiers, an edging so soft and silky that it makes my eyes close involuntarily. A dimestore sketchbook at my elbow where I can draw horses and erase the hooves until holes are worn in the paper (hardest things ever for my little hands to draw!).

And at 3:30 I want to hear the school buses go by. And I want to watch the day turn to dusk outside my window. And then I want to curl up in a Rip Van Winkle kind of sleep, where long healing years pass slowly but when I wake it's only the next morning, full to the brim with undiscovered magick and impossible possibilities.

Yup, that's what I want.

And -- no surprise -- just writing these words has made me feel better. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Mantra for the New Year

I went on an Adventure recently. I'm not one for Adventures. I'm a stay-at-home-body. I like to not be far from my books and my pencils, my pets and my slippers, my coffee....

But Adventure I did, and afterwards I found myself walking along in foreign territory, hyper-aware, paying attention....

And during this time I discovered some things in my path, one of which was a Snapple cap. (I'm like a magpie sometimes; you should see some of the stuff that comes out of my trouser pockets on laundry day....) And inside the cap was this 'fun fact': "Some dinosaurs were as small as chickens."

I love this message. I instantly took it personally. To me it was saying:

"Small can still be fierce."

"You are a force to be reckoned with."

"Never underestimate the power of little things."

 "You are not as insignificant as you think you are."

Since then I've adopted it as my mantra for the year.

What is your mantra for 2013? 

Monday, January 7, 2013

5 Magickal Things About My Day (01/07/13)

1.) Waking up with the song 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart' in my head. (Thank you, Downton Abbey!)

2.) Not one but two moist slices of fruitcake for breakfast.

3.) Promise-of-spring clouds in my winter sky.

4.) Snail-mail greetings from a dear friend.

5.) A suncatcher scattering my front room with rainbows.

What is dipping your day in gold today? :)


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Back to the Past

The '80s were a bit ago and he's STILL this cute. How does he do that??
A friend of mine shared a photo collage on Facebook with me today of actor Michael J. Fox's character 'Marty McFly' in the movie 'Back to the Future.' And underneath the picture of Marty was a screen capture of the dashboard of his DeLorean revealing that yesterday -- 01/04/13 --was the day he'd have arrived here in the Future.

(I know, I know; the last time that photo appeared on Facebook there was a different date on the DeLorean then. But I'm leaving it at yesterday's date because it fits with my post, 'k?)

Seeing the photo filled me with memories; not of the film so much as of my life at the time I was watching those scenes. And then the thought immediately came to me that if I were to catch sight of Marty McFly today, I'd have half a mind to stow away with him back to the '80s. Because -- dang! -- I need a big old Do Over!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Good Question

Not long ago I signed up to receive a daily message in my In Box from my very own 'Inner Pilot Light' courtesy of Lissa Rankin.

What's an Inner Pilot Light, you ask? It's that feeling in your gut that tells you what's what. It's that little divine spark that makes you You. It's that authentic bit, that Inner Child that looks at everything with interest and wonder and complete honesty, that bit that asks the tough questions.

Most days its emails are spot on, telling me exactly what I need to hear at exactly when I need to hear it. Like today:
"My dear delayne,

Every day is a chance to start over. The past is behind you. The future has yet to happen. The only thing that truly exists is this moment. And in this moment, you can begin again.

So what do you want to create in this moment? Who are you in this moment? What old stories are you ready to let go of? What new ones are you ready to start?

Not sure?

Ask me.

With all the answers,

Your Inner Pilot Light"

When I read it, I almost glanced behind myself. I half-expected to see a little flicker there. With a face. Kind of like a Ghost of Christmas Past reading over my shoulder....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

BOOM! Happy New Year!

Here's hoping that your holidays were merry, that your new year began with a creative blast, that the pencil you discovered in your Christmas stocking is already feverishly drawing things you love with all your heart, that your ideas are many and your cares are few, and that you've successfully found the top of your head.

Happy new year!